Have you ever heard the saying 'If travelling was free, you'd never see me again'? The aspirations of just about every traveller are largely influenced by money. Trip destinations and lengths are usually dictated by the budget available for them. This is different for everyone but one thing common to nearly all travellers is they love to save money along the way.
Let's look at the five best ways to do this:
Having a trusted guidebook is hands down the best way to consistently save money. It'll give you a good insight into correct transportation costs and advise on the best accommodation options for your budget. They will also usually have information on which days the museums or art galleries may have free entry. Plan your sightseeing accordingly. Further money can be saved by referring to the cheap places to eat and do your shopping. Even allowing for inflation, a guidebook is a great way to detect obvious swindling attempts.
2. Tourist Areas
In most cities you visit, there is often a reasonably well defined 'tourist area'. In this area of bright lights you'll find plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops. For this convenience though, you'll also usually find inflated prices. Get some local advice and if you are willing to walk just a little further you'll discover places like markets that are cheaper for food, gifts and souvenirs. Another benefit of shopping at these places is you are helping local people make a living instead of larger companies.
3. Concession Cards
Around the world there are various cards that you can use that will make accommodation and sightseeing significantly cheaper or even free. The most common of these is a student card. This can be from a university or more generic international card which is also widely accepted. There are also various youth cards which are generally available to those under 26. Although they need to be purchased, it can be well worth the relatively small investment. The same can often be said for a YHA or Hostelling International card.
4. Shop Around
Just as you would in daily life at home, a lot of money can be saved simply by shopping around. This can be applied to all aspects of travel including transportation and accommodation. If the circumstances allow, check two or even three different options. The time spent is usually rewarded with a nice saving. Don't purchase the first item you see at the market. Walk around, compare prices and you'll probably be able to save even more if you are willing to bargain for the item.
When you think about it, accommodation will probably be the single largest cost of your trip. So what if you could eliminate this in many places? The concept of Couchsurfing enables you to do exactly that. This worldwide network is free to join and works to connect likeminded people who act as hosts and guests. Saving money is only one aspect of it though. More significantly, it actively promotes international understanding, cultural exchange and enduring friendships. This all adds a wonderful new dimension to your travel experience.
Saving money is just one aspect to your journey. For successful travel try to learn from those who are experienced. After all, they've made mistakes so you don't have to!